Loveboat: The fastest, most efficient ever designed?

Probably not, and it’s not even an original design. While Bingo Sun Noon’s ‘Loveboat‘ design is novel, you can find examples of similar stoker-over-rear-wheel designs from the 1890’s, some of which were used to pace track cyclists before the bigger, more expensive triplets, quads and quints were acquired by track clubs.  I came upon this design when an obscure posting to the bicycle portland forums dropped into my mailbox with my daily search engine results. A woman in Portland had seen one of these in a local shop and was looking for feedback.  One poster quickly noted the obvious: the rider over the rear wheel on a two-person bike is in for an uncomfortable ride.  In fact, you can see how even Bingo Sun took note of this with his first Prototype (below, stoker in blue) and incorporated a sprung saddle and stoker bars in his second (stoker in red).

[ 3/8/10 Update at 9:00p] : I finally remembered the name of one of the original rider over rear wheel designs; it was the Tally-Ho (Green, hanging from the ceiling).  One of the remaining examples on public display is an 1897 Tally-Ho built by Maumee Cycle of Toledo, Ohio that last belonged to Michigan’s Three Oaks Bicycle Museum.

You can read more about the Museum as well as the Tally-Ho in an article from 2001 that you can find here: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/on-exhibit-the-mountain-bikes-primitive-ancestors/Content?oid=905528.

Note that unlike the Loveboat, the Tally-Ho was a courting tandem where the gentleman rode and steered from the less comfortable rear seat with his lady companion in the step-through front riding position, as was the norm with more conventional, full-length courting tandems of the day.   A second, more contemporary donkey-back tandem is the blue Bi-Bici from the 70s pictured below as well.

Also of note was the Orient Pacing Tandem designed by Charles Metz, founder and inventive genius behind Waltham Enterprises.  Some of the hard-core tandem historians and enthusiasts may remember Metz for his amazing 10-seat Oriten tandem, which today hangs in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.  Metz was a bicycle racer who owned his own cycling teams and who pioneered the use of tandems, triples, quints and quads to pace his bicycle racers to faster speeds as part of their training.  Anyway, Metz was also one of the first bicycle manufacturers in the US to add an internal combustion engine to one of his pacing tandem designs, although in this case the rear ‘rider’ tended to the engine while the rider in front steered the machine which was also pedal driven.  In some respects, this was one of the first american-made motorcycles.

If I can find it, there’s also a one-off Corima track tandem that was used by the EDS cycling team back in the 90’s that places the rider over the rear tire.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Technology & Equip., Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

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